Heritage and Identity explores the complex ways in which heritage actively contributes to the construction and representation of identities in contemporary societies, providing a comprehensive account of the diverse conceptions of heritage and identity across different continents and cultures.
This collection of thought-provoking articles from experts in the field captures the richness and diversity of the interlinked themes of heritage and identity. Heritage is more than a simple legacy from the past, and incorporates all elements, past and present, that have the ability to represent particular identities in the public sphere.
The editors introduce and discuss a wide range of interconnected topics, including multiculturalism and globalization, local and regional identity, urban heritage, difficult memories, conceptions of history, ethnic representations, repatriation, ownership, controversy, contestation, and ethics and social responsibility.
The volume places empirical data within a theoretical and analytical framework and presents an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the representation of the past, invaluable for anyone interested in heritage and museum studies.
Part 1: Place and Identity 1. What role can digital heritage play in the re--imagining of national identities? England and its Icons, Rhiannon Mason and Zelda Baveystock 2. Locating art: the display and construction of place identity in art galleries, Chris Whitehead 3. Place, local distinctiveness and local identity: ecomuseum approaches in Europe and Asia, Gerard Corsane, Peter Davis and Donatella Murtas 4. Representing identities at local municipal museums: cultural forums or identity bunkers? Marta Anico 5. Heritage according to scale, Llorenç Prats Part 2: Remembering and Forgetting 6.Unsettling memories: intervention and controversy over difficult public heritage, Sharon Macdonald 7. Public silences, private voices: memory games in a maritime heritage complex, Elsa Peralta 8. The banalization and the contestation of memory in postcommunist Poland, Barbara Misztal 9. A landscape of memories: layers of meaning in a Dublin park, Kate Moles Part 3: Domination and Contestation 10. Labor and leisure at Monticello: or repr.esenting race instead of class at an inadvertent white identity shrine, Eric Gable 11. The ancient city walls of Great Benin: colonialism, urban heritage and cultural identity in contemporary Nigeria, Flora Kaplan 12. The past in the present: towards a politics of care at the National Trust of Australia –WA, Andrea Witcomb 13. Yoruba identity and western museums: ethnic pride and artistic representations, Anna Catalini
Museums have undergone enormous changes in recent decades; an ongoing process of renewal and transformation bringing with it changes in priority, practice and role as well as new expectations, philosophies, imperatives and tensions that continue to attract attention from those working in, and drawing upon, wide ranging disciplines.
Museum Meanings presents new research that explores diverse aspects of the shifting social, cultural and political significance of museums and their agency beyond, as well as within, the cultural sphere. Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and international perspectives and empirical investigation are brought to bear on the exploration of museums’ relationships with their various publics (and analysis of the ways in which museums shape – and are shaped by – such interactions).
Theoretical perspectives might be drawn from anthropology, cultural studies, art and art history, learning and communication, media studies, architecture and design and material culture studies amongst others. Museums are understood very broadly – to include art galleries, historic sites and other cultural heritage institutions – as are their relationships with diverse constituencies.
The focus on the relationship of the museum to its publics shifts the emphasis from objects and collections and the study of museums as text, to studies grounded in the analysis of bodies and sites; identities and communities; ethics, moralities and politics.